Dean Lombardi On Anze Kopitar, Free Agency
INTERVIEW WITH DEAN LOMBARDI: In Part 4 of this series based on an interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, he talks about what he believes is the biggest way his team can improve as well as the challenges and decisions he faces when it comes to the free agent market. Be sure to check out parts 1 and 3 right here on Frozen Royalty. You can also read part 2 on HockeyTalk. The fifth and final installment of this series will be published on Friday here on Frozen Royalty.
EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since the end of the 2008-09 season for the Los Angeles Kings, a common message coming from both Head Coach Terry Murray and President/General Manager Dean Lombardi was that their young players needed to get in the gym this summer to become stronger and to be in top physical shape by the time training camp begins.
Further, both said that this was the most important way for the Kings to improve, above all else.
In an interview on June 13, Lombardi said that he is starting to see signs of that happening, as more players have stayed in the Los Angeles area to train together. But Lombardi added that his young players still have a ways to go and he pointed to his best player as one who needs to set an example.
“When I see a lot of these kids, but in particular [center Anze Kopitar’s] case, you talk about a culture, we have a lot of work to do in terms of our best players learning to prepare in the off-season, learning how to prepare as pros physically and mentally,” Lombardi stressed. “And you can’t be prepared mentally if you haven’t prepared physically because if you show up in training camp ready to go, it means you have taxed yourself mentally and challenged yourself to get to the next level.”